Mining companies avoid Brisbane as FIFO delays climb
BRISBANE Airport's failure to control flight congestion is threatening the capital's place as a hub for fly-in, fly-out workers.
News Ltd reports mining companies are seeking alternative FIFO bases as persistent flight delays damage productivity and push up costs, according to the operators of charter flights to the state's mining hubs.
Brisbane Airport Corporation has said "unprecedented resource industry activity" is a major contributor to 80 extra flights a day in the past year.
Paul O'Brien, director of air charter firm AVMIN, which specialises in the mining and resources sector, said a number of clients were requesting their charter flights depart earlier, because of continued delays at Brisbane Airport.
The requests were being made to avoid the costs associated with staff missing connecting flights or providing last-minute overnight accommodation.
"We've also seen an increase in requests for charters to depart from alternative airports including the Sunshine Coast, Archerfield and more regional ports such as the Whitsundays and Townsville," he said.
The country's largest FIFO charter operator, Alliance Airlines, says it is reluctant to invest more at Brisbane Airport until the operators commit to completing a new parallel runway.
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A Department of Transport report also has found the flight path between Gladstone and Brisbane to be one of the worst for cancellations in Australia.
About 33 flights between Gladstone and Brisbane were scrapped in January, prompting fears the new Gladstone Airport Corporation may not be up to the job.
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